Responsive Feeding | Emma's Diary India

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Responsive feeding

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What is responsive feeding? (Also known as baby led or on demand feeding)

Responsive feeding is all about creating a close, loving bond between you and your baby by responding to his needs before he starts to cry.

When your baby cries he releases stress hormones which will make him feel unhappy and insecure. Being able to recognise the signs that indicate your baby is hungry and then acting on them before he becomes upset will help him to feel safe and secure.

The benefits of responsive feeding for baby

Feeding your baby frequently will help to ensure that your baby will:

  • Get all the milk he needs
  • Cry less and be happier
  • Gain weight as expected

The benefits for mum:

Responding to your baby's feeding cues will:

  • Ensure your breasts produce enough milk for your baby's needs
  • Prevent your breasts from becoming too full, which will help to avoid masisitis

What are your baby's feeding cues?

Keeping your baby close to you during the day and night will help you learn to recognise his feeding cues.

These will include:

  • Rooting
  • Wriggling
  • Waving
  • Sucking fists
  • Moving his eyes
  • Making murmuring noises

Responsive bottle feeding

There is no reason why you shouldn't have a close and loving feeding experience, even if you are bottle feeding. To begin with, it's best that only you and your partner feed your baby so that he can get used to your way of feeding. Having skin to skin contact will help your baby to feel safe and secure. Look for the same feeding cues as for breastfeeding.

Once you are sitting comfortably, hold your baby close, in a slightly upright position and look into his eyes and talk gently to him while you are feeding. Make sure you offer frequent breaks during the feed and that you sit your baby upright to bring up any wind. Never try to force your baby to take more milk than he wants. He will know when he's full.

Your baby will benefit from responsive feeding however you choose to feed him.

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